Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Time to say good bye...Auf Wiedersehen.

Time has come to finally say good bye to our host families. The last day in Germany was spent with a visit to the Berlin Zoo and the Ku'damm where the last euros were spent.
Everyone has had a wonderful time and we look forward to welcoming our German 'sisters' and 'brother' in Auckland next year.

The group is meeting at Berlin Tegel airport tomorrow at 12pm. Let's hope the flight back home will be a smooth one without delays. We'll arrive at Auckland airport on Friday at 11.40am. Bis dann :)

Tuesday, April 30, 2013


Today we went to the Unterwelt, the Underworld auf Englisch.  It is the most authentic underground bunker that remains in Berlin. We met our tour guide and began our descent into the bunker. The temperature dropped and you could feel the eeriness. Our tour guide was cool and her English was really good. We learnt a new German word: Abort, which means toilet. It was used during the war because toilette is French and W.C is English and naturlich Germany needed their own word too.  The bunker was open to the public for protection during air raids and the only things needed to gain entry were documents to prove you were an Aryan (of the pure or superior race).  The bunker was built to provide shelter for 1200 people, it often was overcrowded and near the end of the war up to 6000 people took shelter there. We went into a room called a 'functional room', where the walls were painted with toxic glow-in-the-dark paint. When the power went out you could still see, which was supposed to minimise panic. When the paint was new, it was so strong that you could read a newspaper without any lights.  We also learnt about the horrible conditions in the bunkers and how the women measured oxygen levels using candles.  There were displays of found property of dead and missing soldiers, one only a sixteen year old boy. We really enjoyed this tour (it was a personal favorite even after being hesitant before hand). In the afternoon we had free time in Alexander Platz , which we again mostly spent shopping yay! Today was the second to last day and we are coming to the sad realisation that we soon have to go back to school haha.  Tschüs! (Annabelle) 

Monday, April 29, 2013

Deutschland ist schön

As everyone has been incredibly busy it has been difficult to update the blog every day. So I will try and summarise last week's activities. On Monday we went to see the East Side Gallery which is a part of the Berlin Wall covered in murals. Afterwards we visited the Berliner Dom and learnt about its history and significance. We finished the tour with climbing up to the top of the Cathedral to enjoy great views of Berlin. On Wednesday we went to Madame Tussaud's and the students took a lot of photos with famous and semi-famous copies of celebrities. In the afternoon we visited the Rittersport Schokowelt where the students could order their own chocolates, everyone spent half a fortune on different types of chocolates to take home to New Zealand.
On Thursday we took the train to Berlin and went on a tour of the Olympic Stadium which was built for the Olympic Games in 1936. The group then had free time in the old part of Spandau for more shopping. The German economy has benefited greatly from our students...thank you very much!
Before we met for our farewell Party on Friday we spent time at our partner school and learnt to dance the world famous (in Germany) polka Annemarie, played sports and attended Science classes. The farewell party was held in a small community hall and the German host families contributed with a yummy buffett and barbecue. After songs, speeches, games and gifts our students sang the NZ national anthem, said thank you to their families and performed an emotional Te Waka. The evening finished with tearful goodbyes and dancing where Anton proved that he is indeed a good dancer. I hope that all the New Zealand parents read our blog updates regularly and would love a comment or two, danke :)


Friday, April 26, 2013


Today was a first for many people - it was the first time Frau Zimmer had taken her students to her hometown, so naturally, it was the first time people in her hometown had met students from Lynfield College. We were all quite hesitant about visiting in case we somehow insulted, offended or made a bad impression on the people of Treuenbrietzen, or Frau Zimmer herself. After a longer than usual train ride, we arrived at the Treuenbrietzen Bahnhof. We were informed we would be split up into five groups and assigned to a group of students from the local high school, Gymnasium "Am Burgwall" Treuenbrietzen. I was placed in a group with Andrea, Sean and four students from the high school. They were all friendly but quite shy and it took a while for them to warm up to us. Before heading to the school, we stopped at the townhall for a brief visit from the Mayor and the Sabinchen couple. We were given information booklets about Treuenbrietzen and a warm welcome from the Mayor, and naturally we posed for a photo in the empty fountain. We headed to the school and were more than happy to see the food they had prepared for us. Before eating however, Oliver, who happens to be the nephew of our very own Frau Z, told us about his experience in New Zealand with the help of a powerpoint presentation and some humourous videos. We applauded his exceptional English and on came the food.
We then went on a tour of the town and were shown some of the highlights: Nikolaikirche, the skate park and the 'Swan Lake', the icecream parlour and other things that have unfortunately escaped my mind at the moment. After our relaxation and free time was over, we returned back to the school for cake and sadly, goodbyes. The cake was good, though. Before we left we performed for them Te Waka, the traditional Māori chant. After we exchanged gifts and finished the cake, we all headed towards the Bahnhof to wait for our train. As our train stopped and waited for us to hop aboard, we all said goodbye to our new friends and made promises to accept them on Facebook. We also said a temporary goodbye to Frau Delgrosso as she was staying in Treuenbrietzen for a bit longer and had plans to eat Spargel, or 'white asparagus', which is considered a delicacy here. Cool story, Chelsea.

In fewer words, our day was rad and we're special because we were the first group to go to Treuenbrietzen. Woo. (by Chelsea)